Best time to travel to Hungary

Hortobágy National Park in Hungary

Hortobágy is the most traditional Hungarian landscape with its endless plains and archetypal houses

Best time: March–November

Hortobágy National Park
Hortobágy National Park
Hortobágy National Park

Classic pictures of riders on fierce-maned horses crossing never ending prairies are available for many of us only in western movies, but those who visit Hortobágyi get a great chance to witness such a scene in real life. Even more this location is also famous for its blood-red-sky sunsets.

The Hortobágyi Nemzeti Park is an important place to see for all nature and history lovers. The marshes and fishponds that are situated on 6 thousand hectares are nesting habitats and migration sites for more than 340 bird species. The fauna mostly includes domesticated animals, like grey cattle, horses, long-haired sheep, and the unique endemic mangalica pigs.

From a historic perspective, the Hortobágyi was inhabited by nomadic herdsmen who never stayed for a long time in the same place but they still built practical and simple buildings.

Practical info

When is the best time of year to go to Hortobágyi National Park?

The ideal window to visit Hortobágyi National Park lies from March to November. During this time, pleasant weather prevails, and the wildlife is in abundance. Visitors can witness over 340 bird species flying overhead, along with domesticated animals like grey cattle, horses and long-haired sheep. Every season in the park offers something different, and the month of August holds the traditional Hungarian horse show event that is worth watching. Show more

What different species of wildlife does Hortobágyi National Park have?

The park is abundant with migratory birds like red-footed falcons, glossy ibis, and spoonbills. Additionally, visitors can spot mammals like the European hare, wild boar, and the rare steppe cat. Plants exhibitions and distinctive geological formations are also present. The wetlands and fishponds within Hortobágyi are a significant attraction for native and migratory species of birds, which nest and migrate through this region. Show more

Where can traditional houses from the area be seen?

To get a first-hand experience of traditional Hungarian rural life, the Hortobágyi Open-Air Museum is an excellent visit. The museum features archaic thatched-roof buildings that came from different parts of Hortobágyi. The museum aims to showcase the well-preserved life of local pastures, their ways of living, eating, and working, and the tools they used. One of the essential attractions of Hortobágyi is the Nine-Arched Bridge, a stone bridge erected in the early 19th century that is now a symbolic representation of the area. Show more

Why are endemic mangalica pigs significant for Hortobágyi National Park?

Mangalica is an unusual native Hungarian pig breed with curly hair from the Carpathian Basin. Hortobágyi National Park is the only place where visitors can witness these creatures. They are raised specifically in the region for their delicious, rich meat. These hardy animals are known to indulge in rooting around in the ground, keeping themselves warm during cold winters. Besides, it is also home to the world's only museum, dedicated to the Mangalica breed, showcasing its importance in Hungarian cuisine and cultural heritage. Show more

How has the historic nomadic herdsmen culture influenced buildings in Hortobágyi National Park?

Apart from famous wildlife and birds, the nomadic herdsmen culture that existed on the vast plains of Hortobágyi is equally significant. Its impact reflects in practical and straightforward construction methods employed in erecting the traditional landmarks that still stand to this day. The Hartai House, a critical piece in Hungarian architectural history, remains open to visitors. It focuses on herdsmen's memory, displaying a plaque hearkening to those who lost their life in World War I. Additionally, unique tree enclosures and old wells form some of the other attractions reflecting this culture's influence. Show more

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